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MLB Trade Deadline: League Sees Bump From Action-Packed Day Involving Several All-Stars
Published August 1, 2014
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STAR SEARCH: In N.Y., Joel Sherman writes in "arguably the wildest, most impactful trade deadline in history, what stood out was not only that two of the majors’ best starters -- Jon Lester and David Price -- were moved, but that significant major leaguers were dealt to make it happen." Players on the move included Cespedes, Austin Jackson, Drew Smyly, Allen Craig, Joe Kelly, John Lackey, Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson. This was "all a result of teams getting more creative and bolder." If prospects are "overvalued in this market, then proactive organizations will figure a way around this" (N.Y. POST, 8/1). MLB.com's Tim Healey noted there had "not been an All-Star-for-All-Star Deadline deal in at least the last decade and a half" prior to Thursday's deal involving Lester and Cespedes. The only offseason trade in that time "to include two All-Stars from the season prior came in January 2005, when Javier Vazquez was part of a package" the Yankees shipped to the D-Backs to acquire Randy Johnson (MLB.com, 7/31). MLB.com's Doug Miller writes Thursday was, "quite simply, an all-timer, a Deadline that blew the doors off baseball fans, players, executives, scouts and media members." MLB had a "throwback Thursday in which headline deals were orchestrated the old-fashioned way: my big league talent for your big league talent, with prospects watching from their wireless devices down on the farm" (MLB.com, 8/1). ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian asked, “How many deals have been made today that have been major leaguer for major leaguer? You know how rare that is? ... These are big leaguers being pulled off a major league field to go somewhere else. It’s great.” ESPN’s John Kruk: “This is fantasy baseball” (“Baseball Tonight: Trade Deadline Special,” ESPN, 7/31). Dodgers C A.J. Ellis said, "It was the kind of a day that showed a little bit of a shift in the thinking of general managers. Acquiring proven major-league talent is now becoming more of a commodity" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 8/1).
PLAYING MONEYBALL: In DC, Barry Svrluga notes the Red Sox trading Lester and Jonny Gomes for Cespedes "perfectly exemplifies where baseball is at the moment: In any given season, any franchise could be either buyer or seller." NFL-style parity "is upon us, and might be here to stay." MLB has "taken extraordinary measures to establish some sort of parity." Revenue sharing has "helped the teams in the smallest markets compete financially." The game is "extraordinarily healthy, with all 30 franchises making money." Twenty teams began Thursday either "sitting in a playoff spot or within six games of one." With the moves "flying, baseball had created hope in at least that many markets, and excitement throughout the sport" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/1). SI.com's Tom Verducci wrote what we are seeing is that MLB has "become a general manager's game." The "power base of an organization has left the dugout and relocated to the front office." Five-year rebuilding plans "no longer apply." You "better be able to turn your club a dime." The "stars of the day" were A's GM Billy Beane, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and Tigers President, CEO & GM Dave Dombrowski (SI.com, 7/31).